The 10 Best Fall Festivals in Illinois!

Cities and small towns alike celebrate autumn with fall festivals each year in Illinois. Fall festivals in Illinois usually mean lots of delicious seasonal foods, live entertainment, fun competitions, parades, and kid-friendly activities such as face painting, and wagon rides. Illinois residents gather in thousands to attend these festivals and welcome fall each year. The following fall festivals offer activities for the entire family and are essentially family traditions in Illinois. 

1. Morton Pumpkin Festival, Morton, IL

The Morton Pumpkin Festival was first organized in 1967 and in 1978, Morton became the pumpkin capital of the world. Morton Pumpkin Festival has a special theme each year and features many events and activities including entertainment, pageants, competitions, music, and music. They also kid-friendly attractions such as the carnival, face painting, and more. 

2. Apple ‘n Pork Festival, Clinton, IL

The Apple ‘n Pork Festival is one of Illinois’ best-known fall festivals. Around 80,000 visitors attend this unique harvest festival each year to attend the antique tractor show, enjoy live entertainment, and watch live demonstrations in rope-making, woodcarving, and more. Over 25 food stands offer old-fashioned food items like kettle-cooked ham and beans, smoked ham sandwiches, and grilled bratwurst. 

3. Centralia Halloween Parade and Fall Festival, Centralia, IL

The Centralia Halloween Parade and Fall Festival has been a local fall tradition for over 90 years. This annual festival features a Halloween parade, themed contests, chili cook-off, craft fair, and flea market. Locals appreciate the fun-filled activities, amazing food, and awards. 

4. Prairie Land Heritage Museum Fall Festival & Steam Show, South Jacksonville, IL

This non-profit education organization has been holding their annual fall festival for several decades in South Jacksonville. The festival showcases antique farm machinery and features family-friendly activities such as wagon rides, face painting, train rides, a corn maze, and live entertainment. Prairie Land Heritage Museum Fall Festival also offers daily demonstrations of old-fashioned farming methods like hay lifting, plowing, and more. 

5. Galena Oktoberfest, Galena, IL

Galena Oktoberfest is a growing fall festival where over 4,000 people gather to enjoy wiener dog races, non-stop live music, polka dancing, and other fun activities. The Ceremonial Tapping of the Keg and beer stein endurance contest are popular with adults, while kids enjoy the pumpkin decorating and bounce house. 

6. Huntley Fall Fest, Huntley, IL

Huntley Fall Festival is a four-day annual community event held every September. Locals gather to experience the fall activities such as the full carnival, beer garden, and spectacular fireworks display. There’s also live entertainment from several bands, hay rides, car and tractor shows, food, and more. 

7. Oktoberfest Chicago, Chicago, IL

Oktoberfest is all about beer, brats, and live music. Held the last week of September, thousands of visitors gather to celebrate German heritage and sample craft beers in the St. Alphonsus church’s German beer hall. Plenty of kid-friendly activities are also available including face painting and playing in an inflatable obstacle course. 

8. Lincoln Square AppleFest, Chicago, IL

The AppleFest has been celebrating apples each fall for 30 years. Visitors flock to Lincoln Square to pick up hot apple cider, fresh apple pies, and other apple dishes plus listen to live music. They also offer jugglers, magic shows, storytelling, and other kid-friendly entertainment. 

9. Scarecrow Festival, St. Charles, IL

The Scarecrow Festival is a free fall event and family tradition for over 30 years. Adults and kids alike enjoy the family-friendly festivities including scarecrow display contests, fine art demonstrations, children’s crafts, gymnastic performances, and photos with Miss Illinois. There’s also a petting zoo, carnival, food, and many other activities for the whole family. 

10. Oglesby Harvest Fest, Oglesby, IL

Oglesby Harvest Fest is a small-town event offer fall fun for the entire family. The festival features a huge craft and vendor fair, scavenger hunt, and costume parade. Kids enjoy face painting, pony rides, and pumpkin decorating, while the adults head out for the annual zombie pub crawl. 

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